Why are some advocating that we should be happy to earn $0?

I’ve come across a few articles and responses on this platform where people suggest that it’s ok to write for free. They say we should write for love not money. I don’t agree. And here’s why.

My career was in IT. I loved my job and was very well paid. It’s one of the main reasons that I was able to reach financial freedom at an early age.

In the whole time I worked in IT, no one ever suggested that I should work 40 hours a week just because I loved the job. So why are people suggesting that we should be happy to write for the love of it instead of for money?

I can see two reasons that people suggest this:

  1. They don’t need the money.
  2. They can’t earn money from writing, so pretend to themselves and others that they’re writing for the sheer pleasure of writing.

Just because you don’t need money doesn’t mean you should write for free. In what other profession does anyone work for free just because they already have enough money? None that I can think of.

Of course, there are some exceptions. If you’re a lawyer you may provide some service for free to those that need legal help but can’t afford it. You may also give your time for free to help the homeless. But apart from these exceptions, who the hell wants to work for free? Not me.

The second reason is more likely the truth. Many on here have joined the Medium Partner Program, written about how they earned a measly $2.76, and then claim they don’t do it for the money anyway. This sounds like a convenient excuse. Why join the MPP if they don’t want to make money? And why not leave if you’re only making a few dollars a month that you don’t need?

One writer responded to an article of mine to say I was more interested in making money than in writing. That’s true.

Making money is a game I love to play.

She also added that she was a better writer than I was (probably also true) and that she wouldn’t lower herself doing what I did.

This just seems like petty jealousy and a convenient excuse. She’s not making much money, so she pretends she’s not doing it for me. She also needs to act all smug about it so that she feels better about herself.

People, this is not the way to do it. If you want to write for free, then do it. no one is going to stop you and no one really cares. But please don’t try to persuade others to take your path.

Many writers on here need the money for day-to-day expenses. They have rent and mortgages to pay and food to buy.

You can do you, but let others do them.

We all need to do what works best for our individual situations. I certainly won’t be writing for free. I don’t suggest you do either. You can make money from writing if you approach it correctly. Why wouldn’t you want to get paid?